Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage Salad feeds the masses a la Nigella Lawson

Sweet and Sour Red Coleslaw or Sweet and Sour Slaw

This Sweet and Sour Red Coleslaw is what I took along to a lunch yesterday. When I saw it in Nigella Lawson's "Simply Nigella" cookbook, as a Sweet and Sour slaw I liked the look of it. However, this salad shouldn't be attempted by anyone who is time poor. There is a lot of meditative chopping and slicing involved here as the raw ingredients fill a very large bowl or saucepan, probably the largest you have. I used my punch bowl which worked quite well and as there were around 30 people there, although I actually didn't count how many, a large salad was needed. 

The dressing in the recipe also looked nicely tropical with a zing to it. However, I'm not sure whether or not living in the Tropical North has increased my need for more intense flavours, but I found the dressing a little bit bland. So as a rule of thumb when making the simplest vinaigrette, or other salad dressing, keep adding ingredients until your little finger gives you the right flavour. Yes I dip my little finger into the dressing and taste it, and in this case kept adding more lime juice, salt, and maple syrup until I felt I had the right flavour for a sweet and sour coleslaw.

It was back to school in Queensland yesterday and thankfully the Christmas and holiday busyness of the shopping centres and the roads seems to have settled down so quickly already, and we don't even live in a large city by metropolitan standards. It is now so nice and relaxing again to go shopping. Back to school also meant that Neil's ex-teaching colleagues, the ones that are now retired that is, had to pretend that they were wagging school and celebrate the fact that they don't have to go back to work, and of course that means a celebratory lunch at someone's house. However, the numbers keep growing, so next time it looks as if we might eat out somewhere instead of trying to fit on someone's verandah.

The ingredients below are from the original recipe, but I used the juice of two limes, 4 teaspoons of maple syrup, 2 red chillies and then it came together nicely. This also makes a large amount of dressing, so just use enough to suit your salad or it will become drenched. It definitely improves in flavour though if it is left to rest for a couple of hours.

Despite my comments, it is such such a delicious and refreshing salad, and so colourful, don't you agree?

It would work beautifully for Australia Day with some Lamb steaks or Ribs. Check out "Not Quite Nigella's" Lamb Rib recipe with pomegranate molasses. It looks really good.


1 red cabbage (approx. 800g), halved
4 fat or 6 skinny spring onions, trimmed
2 red peppers, membranes and seeds removed
1 yellow pepper, membranes and seeds removed
1 orange pepper, membranes and seeds removed
1 fresh red chili, de-seeded
Large bunch (approx. 100g fresh coriander)
250ml. pineapple juice, from a carton
2 limes, preferably unwaxed
1 ½ x 15ml tablespoon sea salt flakes, or to taste
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 tea
  • Shred the cabbage thinly and put into the largest bowl you own. I used my punch bowl. It may be easier to use a huge saucepan as you need to toss all the ingredients together later.
  • Slice the spring onions into batons and then cut each baton into thin slices length ways, so that you have shreds. Add to the cabbage.
  • Cut the peppers into very thin slices. Add to the cabbage and spring onions.
  • Finely chop the red chili, and the coriander – stalks and leaves. Add the chili and all but a tablespoon of the chopped coriander to the cabbage bowl.
  • In a bowl or measuring jug, mix together the pineapple juice, the zest and juice of 1 lime and the juice of half of the second. Sprinkle in the salt, add the sesame oil and maple syrup, and whisk together before pouring over the prepared vegetables. Toss to mix, then leave to stand for at least 15 minutes, and up to 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle the reserved tablespoonful of chopped coriander over the finished salad.

Leftovers of this salad will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 days, although the vegetables will soften.

Best wishes,

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